Ultramarine is a mineral-derived deep blue color pigment. Originally, ultramarine was produced by grinding lapis lazuli, a deep blue metamorphic rock, into a powder. The name is derived from the Latin word “ultramarinus”, which translates to “beyond the sea”. Ultramarine was an extremely expensive pigment until a synthetic version was invented in 1826. The raw materials used to produce synthetic ultramarine include iron-free kaolin, anhydrous sodium sulfate, anhydrous sodium carbonate, powdered sulfur, and powdered charcoal. Ultramarines is identified as CI 77007 in the Colour Index International.
In cosmetics and personal care products, ultramarine is used as a colorant. Although the original ultramarine was a deep blue color, the ultramarines currently used in cosmetic products can be blue, green, pink, or violet. Ultramarine pigments are primarily used in eye makeup products, such as eyeshadows, mascaras, concealers, and eyeliners. Generally, these pigments are hydrophilic (water-loving) and water-dispersible. Ultramarines are considered safe as used in cosmetics and personal care products, however, they are not allowed to be used in lip products, according to the FDA.